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Monday Journal – Progress Mixed Media

With the new year arriving comes the opportunity for fresh starts, reboots and a time for reflection and goals. It is also time for a new word to remind and inspire me for the upcoming year. I had a hard time with it this year as I felt there were so many things I was hoping to accomplish, which is probably why it has taken till the end of January to post about it and to get any art done.

So, I just started to create and kind of waited for it to come to me. I am all about the flowers lately and my stamp with “find your voice” was really speaking to me. We are just so busy all of the time and I feel like I am constantly spinning my wheels with getting nothing accomplished.

So, I figure it’s time to find my voice and progress. Progress with getting healthy, progress with getting organized and progress with my art. It’s time to finally feel like I am getting somewhere.

Now, I just need to come up with a plan…

What are your goals for the year?

A Creative Soul in Iqaluit, Nunavut

Well, I finally made it to Iqaluit. I spent quite a bit of time up north in Yellowknife but had never made it over to Iqaluit but always wanted to. It was for barely 24 hours but at least I got there. It had been so long since I had flown Canadian North, it felt like I was going home. Definitely much better then regular airlines, they served warm chocolate chip cookies.

Check out this crazy looking airport. When I stepped out of the airport I was surprised by how frontier it felt.

This is the main road with the only stop sign. There was a bit of a “traffic jam” at the end of the work day for Iqaluit standards.

All of the residential buildings were on the top of rocky hills overlooking the town.

This is a stone carving just outside of the Legislative Assembly.

If I had of had more time I would have loved to find another creative soul in Iqlauit, like a local carver or Kamik maker to see a home studio with them in action but all I could get to was the local Carvings Nunavut store.

They had some gorgeous pieces including some prints and Amautis.

They even had a food truck (they are taking over the culinary world after all).

It was still pretty chilly for June (I was cursing myself for not bringing mitts) but I had to take a stroll along the beach. The ice was still breaking up and it was quite breathtaking.

There was a giant chain all piled up in the sand that was a tad puzzling and looked like a cool sculpture.

There were some old boats parked up on the sand that had seen better days but I was mesmerized and desperate to climb into one.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance too and that was probably a good thing as getting arrested for breaking and entering on a work trip would not have gone over well I am sure.

This trip inspired a quick little sketch of a boat with the Nunavut flag to the left in my water colour journal.

I am hoping one day I will get back there to spend some more time exploring but in the meantime, it felt good to step foot on Northern soil again.

A Creative Soul in Truro, NS

I have been doing a bit of travelling with work lately and every time I find out where I am going I always try to get a bit of an inside scoop as to where I should go while I am there. I know there is always TripAdvisor and websites that have the most touristy places to visit but those are not the places that I am particularly interested in. Being a creative soul I like to try and find local gems and since I don’t usually have a ton of time to explore, it would be nice to get some leads. Well, I never seem to be able to find this information so I decided that it might be fun to start sharing my finds. So, these are a few things a creative soul in Truro, NS found.

Since I am a maritimer, the first thing I had to do once I stepped off the plane and got in my rental at the Halifax airport was find some fried clams. So off I went to Murphy’s Fish & Chips which is in Truro’s little downtown area. Don’t let the fact that they are in a strip mall or lack of adequate website deter you. The clams and fish were delicious and there were quite a few other things I would have loved to have tried on the menu.

Once I filled my belly I needed to find a decent cup of coffee to roam the streets with.  I didn’t have to look far as right across the street was Jimolly’s Bakery & Cafe. I wish I had of taken a photo inside as not only was the latte pretty good, the decor was great.  Rustic and comfortable, just what you want in a coffee shop. They also had some yummy looking soup and sandwiches.

Just a few steps up the road I saw Alderberry Village which had a bunch of hand crafted stuff inside which is right up my alley. I had seen a set of some gorgeous little white milk glass vases that I didn’t purchase but regretted not doing so when I was in my hotel later.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get there before I got on my plane to leave so I called to check their store hours and they offered to keep the shop open until I could get there. Talk about customer service!!

Then I stopped in at Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company. These guys had natural artisan soap and bath products that are inspired by the beauty and the history of coastal living. The girl that was working was the sweetest and made sure I checked out Beck & Boosh which was a block over. I picked up the most adorable gem looking soaps for the girls while I was there.

So, off I went to Beck & Boosh (but not before stopping at a fabric shop on the way, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it).

They had the cutest stuff and awesome displays. This was one they did for their vintage collection. All three of the owners were there and I stayed and chatted forever as it was a bit of a mutual admiration society with us complimenting each others outfits and jewelry. I, of course, had to buy something and took their business card so I could later order stuff for my bridesmaid’s gifts and my wedding jewellry.

My trip to Nova Scotia even inspired this little piece in my art journal of a lighthouse and the provincial flower which is the Mayflower of course.

I was not expecting much in Truro but was pleasantly surprised at how charming it was.

Monday Journal – Mermaids

I was snooping through some artsy blogs looking for inspiration the other day and came across this awesome mermaid photograph.

I wasn’t sure what I was looking at until I went over to the article here. I love the colours and the texture.  I then discovered it was all done with recycled bottles. The artist Von Wong, wanted to bring attention to the overuse of plastic bottles.  He knew that plastic pollution was a boring topic and he had to find a way to make it more interesting. So he borrowed a warehouse, 10,000 plastic bottles and gathered a large group of volunteers to create a gorgeous series of photos. Pretty cool.

It inspired me to create this in my journal with some water colour crayons and Jane Davenport’s Mermaid Markers (how appropriate:).

My six year old was also inspired.  I love it when we do art together.

It is sometimes hard to find inspiration when you are in a rut so I thought I might start issuing challenges every week for people that are looking to get their art on and don’t want to have to think too much about it.  I will likely start doing it on my Facebook page here, so that people have a place to share their art with everyone. So this week is mermaids.  If you are not into drawing faces you could try something like this one…

If you enjoy doing faces, you could do something like this instead…

You could also just find a mermaid image online and use that. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!!

Have a great week! XO

Monday Journal – Jane Davenport Products

I don’t know about you guys but I have been dying to get my art on.  I have been looking for some inspiration and finally came across some Jane Davenport Products at Micheals.  People in the art community have been raving about them since their big release.  They seem to be selling out everywhere.  Look at all this goodness…

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So many awesome and beautiful things.  I wanted almost everything but since we are still recovering from the holidays I decided to get the Mermaid Markers…

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and the Flower Stencil.  It was hard to take a photo of this one so that you could see the pattern properly.

Jane Davenport Products

If you don’t know Jane Davenport she an Australian mixed media artist with tons of heart and personality who teaches all over the place and has tons of online workshops.  To go along with her new product line she has offered a FREE workshop here. She keeps adding videos to it as well.  I love it when artists do this especially when you have never taken any of their workshops before or are just looking for a little inspiration.  So, I sat down with the videos, grabbed my new markers and water colour art journal (I am not a huge lover of plain white backgrounds so I have a journal I made from an old book and used clear gesso on the pages). This was the first girl I did.

Jane Davenport Products 1

I, of course didn’t have all of her supplies but used my own similar ones except for the flower stencil for her hair and the Mermaid Markers, which are to die for.  They are water based and have a brush tip.  So much colour saturation, I was in love at first brush. After the first girl I couldn’t stop.  I just decided to draw the girls myself since I didn’t have the stamps and her paper.  Loving the below girl’s hair.

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These were inspired by her boho girls and look a lot different from hers but I was watching the videos to get some inspiration and they did exactly that.

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I didn’t want to stop so once I finished her current videos I started thinking about all of the women power that was happening all over the world in support of the Woman’s March in Washington.  So, I thought who better to paint then the strong Frida Kahlo.

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SO much fun.  I am feeling artistically rejuvenated and all I want to do is paint!!  Thanks Jane!

Monday Journal – Macaroon Mixed Media

I have been terribly neglectful of my blog and my art but what a better excuse then Mother’s Day to carve out some time for myself to do just that.  I hope you all had a relaxing day surrounded by loved ones, whether you are a mom or not :)  I got to sleep in, then breakfast and coffee were waiting for me when I woke.  I also got these lovely flowers.

Macaroon Mixed Media

I am a lucky lady.  The colours in the flowers reminded me of my Macaroon Mixed Media art journal layout that I had started and not finished.

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I had painted French macaroons as they seem to be available all over the place now (which is not a bad thing).  They remind me of my time in Paris and how then, they were all over the place there and not really available anywhere else.  These little delicacies also made me feel like a little kid and I am not entirely sure why.  Maybe because I knew that these tiny pastel packages of delicious sweetness were a special treat and they needed to be savored.  Just like all of the special baking during the holidays.

I picked up some new Prima Marketing rub-ons the other day to try out.  I know not many people use rub-ons anymore but I love them.  The ones I got are from the Christine Adolph collection and they are adhesive so you can put glitter or metallic foil on top which is such a good idea.

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I didn’t want to add either of those things to this page (I did save some from the sheet to try it though) so I just put podge over top once I rubbed them on to take the stickiness away.

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Isn’t the floral pattern gorgeous?  The French advertising bit was perfect for this also.

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I also found an adorable macaroon PAPAYA! card the other day which I bought just for this and tore off the back stuff and stuck it on.

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Then a little reminder to “savor the moment” to finish it off.

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Savoring the moments is so important and I am always reminded of how quickly my girls are growing up on Mother’s Day.  You can’t help but reflect on how it all started and the reason for the celebration: the amazing beings we have brought into the world that made us mothers.  Unfortunately, it also leads me to wondering if I am doing an adequate job and how much therapy they might need as adults as a result of me being their mother, hahaha.  I guess the main thing is to do the best you can and not be too hard on yourself.

Isabelle Arsenault Inspiration (Part Deux)

Boy this last week felt like it has lasted forever!!  I just wanted to share a couple more pages inspired by Isabelle Arsenault‘s illustrations.  This time they are from the book Virginia Wolf which is loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Wolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell.  It is pretty cute.

Isabelle Arsenault

Couldn’t decide whether she was falling or lying in the grass but she inspired my blue gingham girl looking up at the sky.

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This one inspired a couple pieces…

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My fox is hanging out in the jungle.

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This little Easter bunny looking guy that was up in the corner of the page…

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Inspired me to trace this rabbit from my Enchanted Forest colouring book.

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Adult colouring books have exploded lately and I am oh so glad as colouring was one of my favourite things to do as a kid and it is a great meditative practice for all.  Such a simple thing but so gratifying.  A few more I have collected that I love:

The Art of Nature

Splendid Cities

The Big Book of Mandelas

and another Mandela one.

I can’t wait to share them with the ladies at the next retreat.  There are a few more I have my eye on:

The Hipster Coloring Book

The Secret Garden

The Tattoo Colouring Book

and the list goes on, but I won’t bore you with them.  There is a Paris one and so many different themed ones that everyone is bound to find something they like.  If I have just introduced you to them, you are welcome!!  Everyone else, please share your favourites, I have a birthday coming up, haha.

Monday Journal – Where to get inspiration?

Hi there, I frequently get asked where to get inspiration from and that is kind of hard to answer as there are so many places!!  Sometimes when ideas aren’t flowing, looking to other artists that you admire is a good place to start.

I am huge fan of Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.  I have been known to buy some of her children’s books and keep them for myself so none of the kids get their grubby hands on them, haha.  Her style is very different from mine in that she has a lot of just pencil work in her illustrations but there is just something that speaks to me with her stuff.  For a few of my 40 pages in 40 days I opened one of her books Jane, the Fox & Me.

This black and white drawing…

Where to get inspiration

Inspired this.  Since this is just for me, in my journal, it doesn’t matter how similar it is as I have no intention of selling it.

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I loved all of the foxes that appear in this and some of her other books.

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So put one into this piece.

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Here is a close-up of the quote I used.

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Just a quick share, stay tuned for more inspiration from Isabelle’s books.

Monday Journal – 40 Pages in 40 Days

In less then a month I turn 40.  Still unsure how I feel about the whole thing, but regardless, it’s happening :)  So, in honour of this I thought I would do 40 pages in 40 days in my art journal and maybe share some lessons I have learned along the way.  I started off pretty good but unfortunately my mother ended up in the hospital and I had to take an unexpected trip to New Brunswick to take care of things.

Bathurst - 40 pages in 40 days

It is a beautiful place but it was a pretty stressful and heartbreaking trip as I had to convince my mom it was time to go into a home.  She has been fighting this for years as she feels she is too young but her body is not.  I had to try and tidy up her life as much as I could in a week as she was in the hospital and was not going home again.  How do you pack up and downsize an entire apartment to just one room in just a week?  You can’t, it is impossible.  Thank god my mom has a close friend who is going to take care of what I couldn’t get to.  This week I have really been thinking about how our generation is the first of the sandwich generation that will likely have young kids and aging parents to look after.  Quite the burden to bear.  I have also realized that no matter how old you are, you still sometimes wish there was a parent around to just step in and take care of things.

Today, my Atlantic Ocean piece.

The Atlantic

I am going to be doubling up on postings leading up to my birthday to make up for the missed days.  I am also hoping to set up an art day over the long weekend in September so all of my students and friends can come and help me catch up and get their art on.  I shall keep you posted.

Monday Journal – Book Art Journal

It has been quite a while since I have gotten to do some art but I thought it was time for a Monday Journal.  Time to pull out my book art journal that I made by recycling an old book and covering it with a piece of leather.

Book Art Journal

I loved this paper (which is where I got the idea to use red on the cover) and used it for the inside front and back covers.

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I didn’t want to cover the old school illustrations entirely so just used a vintage plastic table cloth as a stencil over top.

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I always collect paint chips when I am at the hardware store so used one of them to make my title with my hand carved “Art” stamp.

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I added a few stencils and had some old house stickers laying around I thought it was about time I used them.  The “Love” washi tape I found at Ikea of all places.

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The finger stickers I found at Ikea as well.  They had this whole paper section that had tons of great stuff in it.

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Hopefully now the art making will continue.  Sometimes you just need to get something down to get the juices flowing!!

 I’ll have some news later this week about up coming classes so stay tuned!!